Broke-Ass Porn: Garbage Plates

Hi, I'm a Garbage Plate. You will love every bite of me, and I will stay in your stomach for days.

A few weekends ago, I briefly forgot what vegetables were. My bf and I trekked up to Rochester to visit some friends. Sure, they took us to a public market with stands full of fresh tomatoes, spinach, peppers, apples, etc, but that didn’t match our “when in Rome” philosophy of the weekend. We were more focused on trying Rochester’s most famous contribution to the culinary world: The Garbage Plate.

A Garbage Plate consists of several layers. On the bottom, you get to pick two sides from the options of home fries, French fries, baked beans and macaroni salad. Then you top your starch with any combination of a cheeseburger, a hamburger, chicken, Italian sausages, red or white hots, a grilled cheese sandwich, fried fish or eggs. Then you can ask for toppings like mustard, hot sauce, onions, cheese, or chili. And it’s served with bread on the side so you can wipe up every morsel of grease from the plate…Garbage Plates (as my bf said) are like a backyard cookout without needing a backyard or a grill. They’re one smattering of fake nacho cheese away from being the ultimate fat kid food.

The home of the original Garbage Plate is a restaurant called Nick Tahou’s, and they’ve even trademarked the name. But there are tons of restaurants around Rochester that sell “dumpster plates,” “sloppy plates,” or even just “plates.” And if your stomach is a dirty hippie, fret not. You can get a plate with a veggie burger or a veggie dog, or both. (One more upscale place has a “Plat de refuse” consisting of an elk burger, Vermont cheddar, a bison hotdog, macaroni flecked with grape tomatoes, topped with wild game chili. None of these foods are things you’d drunkenly consider ordering at a diner; there is no point in serving fancy food in a giant pile).

Admittedly, I was terrified of the Garbage Plate at first. I was picturing all my least favorite foods (i.e. mayo-based salads, coleslaw, bacon, etc.) drenched with ranch dressing and ketchup. I became a believer one bite into my junkyard plate from Dogtown Hots. I kept eating my pile of seasoned home fries, baked beans, chili, cheddar cheese and veggie burger until I could not physically handle eating any more food. I had a short-lived internal debate about the most appropriate chaser: tubbed frosting or Pepto Bismol? But the four of us went with the only chaser we were physically capable of, which was passing out in a living room.

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About the author

Kiley E - Ragamuffin Researcher

After years of denial, Kiley has finally admitted to baring a striking resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo. Instead of traveling in a van hunting ghosts, she prefers wandering on foot in search of tacos, cheap beer, and fake birds. Growing up in Portland, Kiley enjoyed the balance of urban and green spaces. Then she spent her four years at Ithaca College, and found herself craving more sprawling asphalt in her life. So she moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where most of the buildings look like they're about to collapse. Kiley's favorite activities include: getting lost, crafting, sewing, biking, and geeking out at museums. Her love of taxidermy probably makes her a terrible vegetarian, but she doesn't care.
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  • http://blogs.laweekly.com/ladaily/community/malibu-beachside-housing-high/ Rochester

    Great post, keep ‘em comming

  • Mark

    hahaha love to hear these plate stories. Dogtown is good, but I’ve had a plate from there and it seemed too “healthy.” You gotta snag one from Tahou’s or Steve T’s or Henrietta Hots sometime. Much greasier. More “platey.”

  • Ricky

    Wait a minute… the author said bacon is one of her least-favourite foods? Blasphemy! You have broken the only commandment: “Thou shall not talk ill of bacon.” Your penance is to say 10 “Our Fatbacks” and five “Ham Marys.”